NFL Wire News

Pettine expects opponents to taunt Manziel


Cleveland Browns rookie Johnny Manziel had better be ready to deal with taunts and that attention that he’ll likely receive as the starting quarterback.

That will be the message for the next few days from coach Mike Pettine.

“I guarantee that anyone who sacks him will stand over him and give the money sign,” Pettine said Thursday of Manziel’s now-famous gesture.

Asked if he plans to talk with Manziel about his actions on the field, Pettine said, “Sure, and I’m sure I’ll talk with him as the game gets closer. It’s something he’s faced. It’s not anything new coming into the NFL for him.

“He’s been a target probably since the day he first stepped under center in college. I’m sure he knows, but I have a feeling — as you say — it’ll be reiterated.”

Pettine announced Tuesday that Manziel would make his first start on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Manziel already let his emotions get the best of him once on the field during the preseason when he made an obscene gesture toward the Washington Redskins during a preseason game.

Earlier this week, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis referred to Manziel as a midget but later apologized.

“That’s the price that he has to pay for who he is and the reputation that he brings with him to the NFL,” Pettine said of the scrutiny. “He already got a taste of it in the preseason.”

Pettine was pleased with Manziel in practice on Thursday.

“Overall, it was a solid day,” Pettine said. “It was a lot of teaching.”

Will the student learn enough by Sunday, particularly not to force a throw when nothing is there?

“You hope, but you still have to see it over a consistent level,” Pettine said. “That’s the biggest thing is understand — I mentioned this the other day — that every play can’t turn into a broken play. ‘Hey, take what’s there.’ That can be 10 plays in a row.

“The read is what it is. Make the throw, onto the next one. Those few plays where it does break down, now we have a chance to extend the play.”

About The Sports Xchange


Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business